Airway smooth muscle excitation-contraction coupling and airway hyperresponsiveness
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The primary complaints from patients with asthma pertain to function of airway smooth muscle (ASM) function including shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Thus, it is imperative to better understand the mechanisms underlying excitation-contraction coupling in ASM. Here, we review the various signaling pathways underlying contraction in ASM, and then examine how these are altered in asthma and airway hyperresponsiveness (a hallmark feature of asthma). Throughout, we highlight how studies of vascular smooth muscle have helped or hindered progress in understanding ASM physiology and pathophysiology.
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